Category Archives: General

Book Talk Anchor Chart


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Newspaper Article Rubric



Editor’s checklist:

  • Is the information grouped into logical paragraphs?
  • Are the paragraphs in a logical order?
  • Is there any unnecessary information?
  • Is any necessary information missing?
  • Are there any parts that you can’t understand?
  • Are a lot of the same words repeated?
  • Can more precise words be used?
  • Is there too much repetition of linkers like and, but, then etc?
  • Do all the verbs agree with their subjects? (e.g. she are is …)
  • Have articles (the, a, an) been used correctly?
  • Have the correct verb forms been used?
  • Is the punctuation correct?
  • Have all the words been spelt correctly?

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Newspaper Features

What we are doing in class:

  1. Newspaper scavenger hunt
  2. Analyzing the front page layout.
    1. flag (name of paper – logo type)
    2. ears (space on each side of flag)
    3. price
    4. highlights – weather, news, special features,etc…
    5. Number of stories on front page
      1. how many are continued inside?
    6. photos
      1. what do they show?
      2. importance
      3. link to articles?
      4. datelines and bylines
      5. advertisements
  3. Types of Stories
    1. International
      • Associated Press
      • Correspondents / national bureaus
      • Wire Service
      • Wire photo
      • Stringer
    2. National
      • wire service
      • stringer
    3. State/Province
      • wire service
      • stringer
    4. Local
      •  standard reporter
      • flash type (fire and so on)
      • contributed (submitted to newspaper, such as companies sending promotions)
      • enterprise (reporter discovers story on his/her own)
      • local photos
      • sports
      • social
    5. social
    6. economic
    7. political


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Newspaper: What we’ve covered to date

  1. Functions of a newspaper
    1. Inform, Interpret, Entertain, Persuade, Provide a Service, Make Money
  2. Sections of a Newspaper
  3. Newspaper Terminology
  4. Features of a good headline
  5. Pictures in newspapers: features and usage
    1. Angle: Low, Straight, High
    2. Distance: Close, Medium, Long
  6. Reporting tips (Pompeii)
  7. Writing Styles:
    1. Website:
    2. PDF:

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Non-Fiction Text: Newspapers

Students will:

  1. Understand that newspaper messages are created to inform, persuade or entertain
  2. Identify different audiences for each type of newspaper message
  3. Become familiar with each section of the newspaper
  4. Make inferences about why different messages are placed in different sections.

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Debate Homework: What’s interesting in the news?

7 1/2 – your homework for this weekend is to post a link to an interesting or controversial article that’s in the news right now. You don’t have to pick this topic for the debate, but I want you aware of what’s happening in the world.

Some great news sites include:

I’m less interested in the source than the idea.

Post the article as a comment below.

Posted in General, Grade 7 | 31 Comments

WRDSB Dreambox Login 2014/2015

I can’t tell you how many students and teachers have trouble finding this link. If you are in the WRDSB, and want to access Dreambox, click here:

  • Alpine:
  • Avenue Road:
  • Baden:
  • Breslau:
  • Chalmers Street:
  • Clemens Mills:
  • Conestogo:
  • Country Hills:
  • Edna Staebler:
  • Education Centre – School List:
  • Elgin Street:
  • Empire:
  • Forest Hill:
  • Franklin:
  • Hillcrest:
  • JW Gerth:
  • Jean Steckle:
  • Keatsway:
  • MacKenzie King:
  • Mary Johnston:
  • Northlake Woods:
  • Queen Elizabeth:
  • Sandowne:
  • Sheppard:
  • Silverheights:
  • Southridge:
  • Tait:
  • Wellesley:
  • WT Townshend:
  • Williamsburg:

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7 1/2 – Fractured Fairy Tales (in class)

Whether it’s The Princess and the Rutabaga or Big Blue Riding Hood, invite your students to turn familiar fairy tales upside down and inside out—and to have fun. This interactive tool gives students a choice of three fairy tales to read. They are then guided to choose a variety of changes, which they use to compose a fractured fairy tale to print off and illustrate. Useful for teaching point of view, setting, plot, as well as fairy tale conventions such as they lived happily ever after, this tool encourages students to use their imaginations and the writing process at the same time.

Posted in Fairy Tales, General, Language | 2 Comments

7 1/2 – Descriptive Writing

We are learning to write descriptively, so that our words paint a vivid picture in our readers’ minds.  Using the five senses helps to achieve this. We can describe what something:

  • looks like
  • moves like
  • smells like
  • sounds like
  • feels like (emotionally and physically)
  • tastes like

We can use metaphors and similes to help describe unfamiliar things to our audience, or to describe everyday things with a fresh look. (E.g., the lazy orange slept in fruit basket – creates a mood)

A simile is a figure of speech in which two things that are not obviously like each other are compared to make a description more vivid. A simile will often use “like” or “as”.

  1. The piston of the steam-engine worked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness
  2. a small strawberry-pink villa, like some exotic fruit lying in the greenery
  3. the cypress-trees undulated gently in the breeze, as if they were busily painting the sky
  4. roses dropped petals that seemed as big and smooth as saucers
  5. marigolds like broods of shaggy suns
  6. a thousand ballerina-like blooms quivered expectantly.

Metaphors are like concentrated similes. In a metaphor two dissimilar things are compared but rather than saying one is like the other, a metaphor goes a stage further and makes one thing become another.

  • Her smile was my sun
  • The detective listened to her tales with a wooden face.
  • She was fairly certain that life was a fashion show.
  • The typical teenage boy’s room is a disaster area.
  • What storms then shook the ocean of my sleep.
  • The children were roses grown in concrete gardens, beautiful and forlorn.
  • Kisses are the flowers of love in bloom.

Classroom similes:

  •  as thin as a strawberry wafer
  • as bald as a senior citizen as a a hair cut
  • as smart as a textbook
  • as bald as Caillou after a haircut
  • as poor as a homeless man’s piggy bank
  • as a strong as an Olympian weightlifter
  • as poor as a farmer after a drought
  • as strong as a bull on steriods
  • as white a fresh snow
  • as smart as a rock that never went to school
  • as neat as your house before guests arrive
  • as dumb as a cliche that everyone uses
  • as smart as a salesman on a quota
  • as dumb as the Cleveland Browns staff on draft day
  • as bald as Madison’s dad
  • as poor as the dead after a grave robbery
  • as smart as a man in a tux /  woman in a suit
  • as bald as a peeled potato


Write one really creative, unexpected simile tonight to share with the class tomorrow. Be observant at home. What can you compare your little sister to? Describe how your dad eats dinner. etc…

Posted in General, Language, Writing | 3 Comments

8-7 – Sept 18


  • Started student presentations on Confederation
    • remaining presentations will take place period 4 on Monday (Day 1)
  • Learned about body language during presentations


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